Sizewell ‘A’ 50 per cent defuelled

Progress towards decommissioning Sizewell A nuclear power station has passed a major milestone with more than half of the 52,945 fuel elements having now been removed from Sizewell A’s twin reactors.

Dr Brian Burnett, NDA Head of Programmes, said: “This is an important milestone on the site’s journey towards Care and Maintenance and a vital step in reducing hazard on the site.”

Defuelling is due to be completed at the site in September 2014 and Site Director Tim Watkins is confident his team will hit that target.

Tim Watkins said:

“This is a significant milestone in Sizewell A’s lifecycle.

“Our highly-skilled teams are doing a fantastic job in keeping the fuelling machines online, defuelling safely and efficiently.

“Removing spent fuel from reactors and transporting it to Sellafield for reprocessing is a complex process, but Magnox is using all its experience and expertise to deal with the legacy of this first generation of nuclear power stations.

“It is good news that with defuelling recently completed at our Chapelcross site, Sizewell A now has priority for flasks and is making steady progress with fewer than 160 flasks of fuel left to dispatch.

“Once all fuel has been dispatched, we will have reduced the radiological hazard on site by more than 99 per cent.”